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11.11.19

Microsoft’s Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Saying that Microsoft speaks for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is like saying that prisons speak for inmates

We speak for FOSS. Because we control proprietary software GitHub.

Summary: Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)

THE situation we’re in is borderline depressing. I speak every day with fellow writers and some tell me that 2019 was the worst (ever) year for Free software. We don’t need to give a detailed list of all the bad things, do we? Shutdown of publishers is one thing that hurts them very personally, but beyond that look what happened to Mr. Linux and Mr. GNU (Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman). We barely hear them anymore. Instead, as we’ve just mentioned in some older Daily Links, Microsoft employees now speak for Linux Foundation projects. We caught this example yesterday and we were barely shocked, knowing that the Linux Foundation-funded and Microsoft-connected media can barely distinguish anymore. We wish we were kidding, but here’s Dice ignoring all FOSS projects that Microsoft does not control. That was a few days ago.

“…the Linux Foundation is corrupt in the sense that it doesn’t operate according to its mission statement.”In our view, the Linux Foundation is corrupt in the sense that it doesn’t operate according to its mission statement. Far from it. It’s outsourcing almost everything to Microsoft, it is speaking for Microsoft (sometimes Microsoft speaks for the Foundation) and it is worth noting that Foundation-funded and Microsoft-connected sites (e.g. SDxCentral) read from the same script; one might joke that they even have a joint marketing department now. We’re not alone thinking along those lines! More and more people agree with us and even say a rename to “Microsoft Foundation” would be in order. They’re becoming like the same entity. They promote Azure along with Microsoft puff pieces that appear in mainstream media. These are published by Microsoft-connected people (the company has loads of media ‘moles’); almost half the articles they write are Microsoft puff pieces. Linux.com has been turned into something similar.

“More and more people agree with us and even say a rename to “Microsoft Foundation” would be in order. They’re becoming like the same entity.”One might want to interrupt us and say, “BUT THAT’S THE OLD MICROSOFT!! THEY HAVE CHANGED!!!”

Hmmm… no, sorry.

As recently as this year they still leverage bogus software patents (likely invalid due to 35 U.S.C. § 101, but the USPTO grants these anyway) to blackmail OEMs that distribute GNU/Linux. It’s even taking them to court. It’s suing! This year!

Since we’ve just mentioned how Dice is ignoring all FOSS projects that Microsoft does not control, let’s look at how widespread a phenomenon this has become. It’s truly troubling and it’s why days ago we set up a detailed “Delete GitHub” wiki page.

“As recently as this year they still leverage bogus software patents (likely invalid due to 35 U.S.C. § 101, but the USPTO grants these anyway) to blackmail OEMs that distribute GNU/Linux. It’s even taking them to court.”As we mentioned in some older Daily Links, Mac Asay, a Microsoft apologist who had pursued a job there (he admitted this in his personal blog), wants us to think FOSS developers only count or exist if they’re slaves of Microsoft at a proprietary software platform, GitHub [1, 2]. Remember that Asay is the person who initially brought Microsoft to OSI (Groklaw very vocally and vehemently opposed this) and over the past few years he wrote countless articles with headlines like “Microsoft is top Open Source contributor,” always citing only GitHub as a ‘source’ (Microsoft had planned to buy GitHub for almost half a decade and had ‘shelved’ its projects there in preparation). Nowadays, if one checks OSI’s sponsors page one finds Microsoft listed three times — more than any other company. It’s listed several times as “GitHub” as well (and yes, GitHub is proprietary software, so what does that say about OSI’s values?)

As we explained some weeks ago, in response to persistent media lies No, Microsoft is Not an ‘Open Source Company’ But a Lying Company (all the core products are still proprietary software, even GitHub itself — the very ‘asset’ Microsoft keeps bragging about as ‘proof’ that it “loves Open Source”).

“The infamous line, “Microsoft loves Linux,” is generally regarded as a joke among actual users of GNU/Linux.”The irony of all this isn’t entirely lost. FOSS people are generally well educated and they can see past the lies (or “PR”, to put it less bluntly).

The infamous line, “Microsoft loves Linux,” is generally regarded as a joke among actual users of GNU/Linux. They know what Microsoft means by "love" in this context.

But let’s focus for a bit on what Microsoft hopes to accomplish; to put it most concisely, it wants to control its own opposition.

“But let’s focus for a bit on what Microsoft hopes to accomplish; to put it most concisely, it wants to control its own opposition.”Look at what Microsoft, via GitHub, published this past week, both directly and indirectly. Here are Microsoft-friendly publishers ranking programming languages based on Microsoft’s own data. So Microsoft, which bought an almost monopolistic control over narrative of its idealogical counterpart (Free software), now ‘lectures’ us on which languages are ‘cool’ and which ones are not. Sometimes it does the same regarding licences (Microsoft dislikes copyleft and projects that adopt copyleft generally reject Microsoft). In this particular example (among many more), Business Insider Singapore speaks of “The 10 most popular programming languages” and many readers will take that as some sort of ‘bible’, assuming Microsoft now decides in ‘popularity contests’; who appointed Microsoft as ‘judge’? JAXenter also published “Python outranks Java for the first time”

The missing part? Oh, yeah… that’s just based on one Web site/company, Microsoft.

Let’s ask TechJuice what it thinks about “open source projects” in Pakistan; does the author truly believe that Microsoft now speaks for its very opposition, FOSS, because of its FOSS-hostile takeover of proprietary software (GitHub)?

“No GitHub? Then you don’t exist! Some employers actually judge job applicants that way. As we showed in the past, some people cannot attend an event or receive a discount (for attendance) if they don’t have a GitHub account! Being a client of Microsoft is apparently a prerequisite now.”It doesn’t take brilliance to see that GitHub lets Microsoft construct Microsoft-centric propaganda and pressure/force developers to hand over all their code/work to Microsoft (to “count” or become “visible”). No GitHub? Then you don’t exist! Some employers actually judge job applicants that way. As we showed in the past, some people cannot attend an event or receive a discount (for attendance) if they don’t have a GitHub account! Being a client of Microsoft is apparently a prerequisite now.

Let’s look what media in Australia said some days ago [1, 2, 3]. IT Brief and Technology Decisions published a whole bunch of nonsense, such as “Australia is 12th largest open source user outside US” and “Australia 13th largest user of open source in the world Australia is the 13th largest user” (the headlines say nothing about it being limited to Microsoft data).

This is nonsense. It is a lie. It compels us to accept that every FOSS project that is not 100% controlled by Microsoft does not exist and does not count. It’s a real problem! This is what Microsoft paid for. It is all about control.

“It compels us to accept that every FOSS project that is not 100% controlled by Microsoft does not exist and does not count.”Not far from Australia, or over in Singapore, we see similar propaganda. Is Singapore proud to learn that, according to Microsoft, the very opposition of Microsoft grows, but only or mostly on Microsoft’s proprietary digital colony? Because that’s what GitHub is. That’s a landgrab. The aim is to take control of their opposition.

Do these corporate writers realise what they’re doing here? They’re doing PR for Microsoft. Watch the new headline “Helping build secure software is of utmost important to GitHub,” reminding us that TechRadar is not a news site. It’s a click-baiting PR site and now it’s lying for Microsoft which puts back doors in virtually everything it makes (upstream and downstream). Microsoft's GitHub 'values' your security so very much that it didn't help Canonical investigate what had happened with its GitHub hosting. Does Microsoft employ the highest proportion of people who lie for a living? Or Exxon among other oil giants? Close call…

Microsoft now indirectly confirms that its back doors for the NSA are killing people. The pro-Microsoft Analytics India Magazine (lots of GitHub puff pieces there) finds a way to associate Microsoft back doors for NSA (in secret code) with “Open Source”. The headline says “This Open Source ML-Powered Tool Is The Real Deal As Microsoft Confirms BlueKeep Attack”

“Does Microsoft employ the highest proportion of people who lie for a living?”The real news is that back doors of Microsoft are backfiring and it is not Microsoft paying the price for that.

Sadly, as a result of the above, when people search for news about “Open Source” they often receive news from and about Microsoft instead. Surely The INQUIRER realises that GitHub is proprietary software owned and controlled by a proprietary software giant, right? So why publish headlines like these? This is like Exxon speaking ‘for’ climate activists…

And wait. It gets worse.

Days ago we saw — yet again — how Microsoft used so-called ‘Visual Studio Code’ or just “Code” (a component used for openwashing of proprietary software, Visual Studio) to get people entrapped in a proprietary surveillance platform, Azure. Microsoft-connected media published this in several domains with different headlines (e.g. in Business Insider and then in Business Insider Singapore). The headline is so promotional and long: “Here’s why 8.5 million users love Visual Studio Code, the free software that’s helping Microsoft win over programmers in the cloud wars with Amazon…”

Sounds more like a marketing campaign, but this was the actual headline!

“The real news is that back doors of Microsoft are backfiring and it is not Microsoft paying the price for that.”With Microsoft boosters like Bort, Business Insider merely reaffirms its bias here. It has long employed dedicated Microsoft boosters, as does TechCrunch, which published this puff piece about proprietary software, Visual Studio (Linux.com did the same, owing to its editor being a huge fan of Microsoft). The author, Frederic Lardinois, is a Microsoft booster we’ve long taken note of (track record and all; he’s promoting Microsoft’s proprietary software under openwashing veneer all the time). His colleagues are also former Microsoft people. Literally people who came from Microsoft. This kind of bad journalism spreads further into traditionally “Linux-centric” publishers. Yesterday we saw Slashdot ‘advertising’ Microsoft proprietary software under the “Linux” section. Slashdot has not improved under Logan’s leadership. It barely even touches GNU/Linux or “news for geeks”; rebrand to “news for Microsoft” soon? That’s just joining a PR campaign that even some Microsoft-loving ‘FOSS’ sites participate in. Apparently, right now in 2019 “FOSS” means proprietary software from Microsoft.

“BUT WAIT!”

Some people might actually say that. “MICROSOFT LOVES OPEN SOURCE NOW!”

“Remember that based on internal Microsoft documents the management has long spoken about outsourcing the attack on FOSS to external entities (the likes of SCO).”Oh, does it?

Or does it merely pretend to? While keeping all its own stuff proprietary and merely exploiting some ‘free code’ to make its proprietary stuff?

Remember that based on internal Microsoft documents the management has long spoken about outsourcing the attack on FOSS to external entities (the likes of SCO). We covered this many times in the past.

Oh, look! What have we got here? Days ago the Microsoft-funded tabloid (ZDNet) was used to FUD “Open Source” and discourage people from adopting it (or to instead take back-doored proprietary software like Microsoft’s). This is happening every week. These people also slander Richard Stallman and censor Microsoft-hostile articles (even after they’re published). Generally speaking, ZDNet is not a news source. It is advertising and it is libeling people. The chief editor works closely with Microsoft and its “experts”; they even do podcasts together.

“Microsoft has far too much control these days over the “Open Source” message; it’s like the ‘VIP’ at the OSI, it has the most control at the Linux Foundation (it literally hosts most of the Foundation’s projects!) and even the media narrative is shaped by Microsoft and its proprietary software offspring, GitHub.”This isn’t unique to ZDNet obviously. Another example is the Microsoft-connected anti-FOSS site Security Boulevard, which still reposts anti-FOSS FUD for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck and for WhiteSource (which co-authors papers with Microsoft).

This is the kind of stuff that appears when one looks for “Open Source” news; a lot of it is negative (open source being a security risk, the licences being “viral” and so on). And yes, the ones who are behind these claims work or have worked for Microsoft.

Microsoft has far too much control these days over the “Open Source” message; it’s like the ‘VIP’ at the OSI, it has the most control at the Linux Foundation (it literally hosts most of the Foundation’s projects!) and even the media narrative is shaped by Microsoft and its proprietary software offspring, GitHub.

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2 Comments

  1. arm said,

    November 11, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Gravatar

    OpenBSD does not use Github for development at all Roy. They do not even use git!

    That was just what I noticed at a glance of your deletegithub page. I’m sure there are others in the list that also do not use github.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I will inform the person who maintains that wiki page (Fig).

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